This recipe is a family favorite. It’s incredibly easy to make, requires just a few ingredients, and is packed with great flavours and nutrients.
I used to serve these ricotta meatballs with brown rice or pasta, but when I discovered “zoodles” I thought they’d be the perfect partner for my meatballs – and I wasn’t wrong.
If you haven’t heard of them, zoodles are zucchini noodles, or zucchini spiralized into long spaghetti-shaped strings. My children accepted these instantly, especially because I involved them in the magical process of “zucchini spiralization”.
Zoodles are a great alternative to noodles, and a smart way to up your family’s intake of veggies. You can either eat the zoodles raw or shortly fry them in some olive or coconut oil and a pinch of salt. The trick is to not overcook them so they still have “bite”.
The meatballs are deliciously smooth thanks to the ricotta cheese, which is high in calcium, zinc, and vitamins A and B12.
FOR the meatballs
500 g or 18 oz. ground beef (opt for pastured for its higher Omega-3 content)
1 organic egg
1 cup (250g) full-fat ricotta cheese
½ cup (45g) grated parmesan cheese + more for topping
½ cup parsley, minced
Salt & pepper to taste
Optional: garlic, onion, turmeric, pine nuts, fresh or dry herbs… Whatever you like in your meatballs
For the zoodles
1 small zucchini per person
For the tomato sauce
Either make your own favourite recipe or use good quality tomato sauce from an organic store on busy nights (make sure it doesn’t contain added sugar).
Start by preparing the tomato sauce if you’re making from scratch. I usually fry an onion and a few garlic cloves in olive oil, then add good quality tinned chopped tomatoes, salt, pepper, and herbs to taste, and allow to simmer while making the meatballs.
Make the meatballs by mixing all ingredients in a mixing bowl and roll them into small balls (the smaller you make them, the quicker they’ll cook through)
Heat some olive oil, coconut oil, ghee, or butter in a frying pan, and fry the meatballs on all sides for about 5 minutes
Cover the meatballs with the tomato sauce and simmer on medium-heat for about 20minutes
In the meantime, cut the zucchini into noodles using a spiralizer, and shortly fry them in olive oil
Serve the meatballs and sauce over the zoodles and enjoy with some grated parmesan